Eddie Redmayne: Playing a transgender person in The Danish Girl was “a mistake”

22 November 2021, 11:36 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 15:23

Eddie Redmayne in 2016
Eddie Redmayne in 2016. Picture: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty

By Jenny Mensah

The British actor has reflected on his role playing transgender woman Lili Elbe in the 2015 film.

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Eddie Redmayne has said his lead role as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl was "a mistake".

The British actor starred as Lili Elbe in the 2015 film, which earned him an Oscar nod. However, the 39-year-old actor has admitted that he now regrets playing the role.

Asked if he would take the role now, he told The Sunday Times: “No, I wouldn’t take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.

"The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table. There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates."

READ MORE: Elliot Page gives first interview after coming out as transgender

Eddie Redmayne has previously voiced his support for the transgender community and said that it was “culturally imperative” to respect transgender people” after controversial comments made by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

The actor, who stars as Newt Scamander in Potter spin-off film franchise Fantastic Beasts, said at the time: "Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process.

"As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.

"I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."


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